03 May

Biggest position of need for each preseason top-10 team during spring window

College football’s best teams don’t need much to stay at the top of the rankings when 2024 season gets underway in August, but to reach the national championship game in a rugged, 12-team College Football Playoff? Yeah, safe to say everybody could use a little help.

Polling team experts from 247Sports, we’ve chosen the biggest need for for every preseason top 10 team —based on CBS Sports’ pre-spring top 25 rankings — when the spring transfer portal window opens April 16.

Transfer portal needs for top-10 teams
team logo
Defensive tackle: Georgia is in a position to stand pat, but it would not be surprising to see the Bulldogs pursue a defensive tackle in the transfer portal. Georgia’s 2023 defensive line lacked a game changer the likes of Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis , and that inability to consistently wreak havoc on the interior defensive line showed up at different points — especially in the SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama. The Bulldogs have several defensive tackles who could take a step forward in 2024, but if the right player enters the portal, they should give chase. — Jordan D. Hill, Dawgs247; Read more here on Georgia’s transfer portal needs
team logo
Ohio State
Right tackle: Adding an offensive tackle — or perhaps an offensive guard — will be Ohio State ‘s focal point in the portal. If the Buckeyes are able to land a right tackle, for example, it likely will be someone not yet in the portal. Meaning, the guys in there right now would not be an upgrade compared to any of the current options. It remains to be seen if OSU can check this need off its list because it is difficult to find impact offensive tackles via the portal. However, last year the Buckeyes landed a good one in left tackle Josh Simmons. — Dave Biddle, Bucknuts247; Read more here on Ohio State’s pursuit of a transfer offensive lineman
team logo
Defensive tackle: If Texas still had T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy, the Longhorns might be college football’s preseason No. 1. But they’re off to the NFL , and though Texas feels good about Alfred Collins and Vernon Broughton rising from rotational players to starters, depth at interior defensive line is unclear. The Longhorns brought in 6-foot-4, 293-pounder Tia Savea from Arizona, but will absolutely be in the market during the spring window if a difference-making defensive tackle emerges, per team sources. — Chip Brown , Horns247; Read more here on Texas’ transfer portal needs
team logo
Defensive tackle: A host of defensive linemen from last year’s unit graduated, so the Ducks added Jamaree Caldwell , a four-star transfer from Houston , to the position group during the winter period. Oregon has loaded up on defensive linemen over the last two recruiting cycles from the prep ranks, but just four players have recorded more than one full season of college football. Adding defensive tackle depth and experience will be an area of focus; it’s hard to believe the Ducks will roll into the 2024 season, its first in the Big Ten, with such a young group at such a critical position. — Matt Prehm, Duck Territory
team logo
Defensive back: The loss of starters Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry to the NFL Draft were expected and capable of being absorbed. However, the winter transfer portal window crushed the Tide’s depth at defensive back. Freshman All-American Caleb Downs left, along with Dezz Ricks, Trey Amos, Jameer Grimsley, Earl Little, Kristian Story, Antonio Kite and Jake Pope. The addition of Michigan transfer Keon Sabb helped settle the safety position, but Alabama needs more bodies at cornerback. — Alex Scarborough, Bama247; Read more here on Alabama’s transfer portal needs
team logo
Ole Miss
Running back: Ole Miss seemingly owns all the pieces to make a run at the College Football Playoff this fall, with one single exception: running back. When the spring transfer portal window swings open, expect the Rebels’ top priority to be finding a replacement (or two) for the record-setting Quinshon Judkins, who left for Ohio State over the offseason. The Rebels strengthened themselves at every position on the field during the wintertime portal session — except running back. — David Johnson, Inside The Rebels; Read more here on Ole Miss’ transfer portal needs
team logo
Notre Dame
Offensive tackle: Notre Dame is expected to be selectively active in the portal’s spring window, with its sights set on what amounts to a “unicorn acquisition”: a potential starter at offensive tackle. Depth concerns exist at tight end, where two of the five among a uniquely talented room are coming off ACL injuries, including starter Mitchell Evans. A third, Eli Raridon, was put on a bit of a pitch count this spring to save wear and tear after two such injuries plagued half of both his 2022 and 2023 campaigns. — Tim O’Malley, IrishIllustrated.com
team logo
Offensive line: Cody Schrader had a season for the ages last year for the Missouri Tigers , leading the SEC in rushing. Schrader would tell you much of his success came from running behind an excellent offensive line that featured soon-to-be NFL players Xavier Delgado and Javon Foster , who combined for 109 game appearances and 82 starts. Top transfer portal addition Cayden Green (No. 10 overall, No. 2 OT) of Oklahoma will fill one of the spots. But expect the Tigers to be in the market for another big-time offensive lineman to help solidify the trenches. — Carl Reed, 247Sports
team logo
Penn State
Wide receiver Penn State was likely to look for more receiver help even before senior KeAndre Lambert-Smith hit the transfer portal. Redshirt junior Harrison Wallace looked strong in the spring game coming off an injury-plagued 2023 campaign, while former Top247 recruit Kaden Saunders has taken a step forward in the slot and Ohio State transfer Julian Fleming has earned praise in his first semester. But no one in this position room beyond Fleming owns even 600 career yards, and the Nittany Lions must maximize quarterback Drew Allar’s junior campaign under new offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki.” — Tyler Donohue, Lions247; Read more here on Penn State’s transfer portal needs
team logo
Defensive tackle: Without question, the biggest position of need for LSU is the interior defensive line. It was one of the biggest storylines throughout the spring after the Tigers lost both starters to the NFL Daft and didn’t replace them in the first transfer window. LSU feels good about one starting spot with veteran Jacobian Guillory, but who starts next to him and the depth behind the starters remains major question marks. The problem is LSU is over the 85-man scholarship limit, so it’ll have to see some attrition at a few positions and then likely cut down by a few more in order to fill that need at defensive tackle in the spring portal window. — Glen West, Geaux247; Read more here on LSU’s transfer portal needs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *